Community invited to faculty discussion on Ukraine-Russian conflict

MSU Texas faculty to host roundtable discussion on Ukraine-Russian conflict

With the swiftly unfolding events in Ukraine and Russia, faculty at Midwestern State University will host a roundtable discussion to help the community understand the conflict. The discussion will be from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Akin Auditorium.

The public is invited to hear from these professors, whose areas of expertise can address the conflict from different perspectives to give an informed overview of the situation. After the discussion, the panel will take questions from the audience.

Participants will be John Ashbrook, Chair of the Department of History; Rebekah Dowd, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Kirsten Lodge, Professor of English; Michael Mills, Director of Global Education; and Mike Rattanasengchanh, Assistant Professor of History. Each will speak approximately 10-15 minutes on different aspects of the situation.

Ashbrook specializes in the history and politics of Eastern Europe and the lands of the former Yugoslavia, nationalism and regionalism, and war. He will discuss Putin’s minimalist and maximalist goals, arguing that they are not insane or irrational as some in the mainstream media have suggested. “To be clear, I am not pro-Putin or his foreign policy, but am coming from a realist perspective on foreign policy.”

Dowd specializes in the politics and political institutions of Europe, in human rights, and political economy. She will present a brief analysis of the Western European and European Union reactions to the Ukraine crisis. She will also discuss its global economic impact, and the refugee crisis the conflict has created.

Lodge will speak about Ukrainian and Russian culture and her experiences living in the region and marrying into a Ukrainian family.

Mills, who oversees the Study Abroad program, will speak about the importance of international education and experiences in understanding and providing possible solutions to such crises in the future.

Rattanasengchanh, an expert on U.S. foreign policy in Asia, military and Southeast Asian history, will give the perspective of the current U.S. administration and China on the crisis.

For more information, contact Ashbrook at john.ashbrook@msutexas.edu.